All in the routine for McDowall

All in the routine for McDowall

“When you go from training every day with the squad to suddenly not having that routine or schedule, it can be quite tricky and it’s easy to drift away.”

McDowall’s observation will be one to which all elite team sports athletes will
currently be relating to. The suspension of the Guinness PRO14 due to the
ongoing COVID-19 situation has seen training regimes for sportspeople worldwide
adapted to suit the Stay Home guidance.

Yet the
centre is taking it all in his stride, with a helpful housemate on hand to
alleviate any cabin fever.

“It’s been a
bit easier, living with George [Thornton],” admitted McDowall.

“We’re both
trying to stay fit and stay busy. We were quite lucky that Brad [Mayo, head of
S&C] got us a rowing machine, so we’ve got that in the flat. We do a mix of
solo and team workouts – it’s good sometimes to train on your own and get that
bit of extra time to yourself.

someone to help push you along is also a benefit, and it’s good to have the
company too!”

Those who
witnessed the pair’s takeover of the club’s official Instagram account will be
in no doubt as to their friendship. Having first played together for Scotland
U20s, McDowall was happy to offer the spare room to Thornton when the loose-head’s
switch to Scotstoun was announced last summer.

The dynamic
duo have even settled into a routine of their own, including a first foray into
the culinary world.

“He’s a good
laugh, and we obviously get along well – he’s good to have around!” smiled McDowall.

“We both
like to get the workout stuff out the way early, really! I’ve actually got my
dad’s dog at the minute, so I’ll get up and take it for a run. We’ll then try
and get a workout in before lunch, and then after that it’s trying to fill your
day productively really.

“We’ve both
decided to learn a new skill – I’m not sure what mine is going to be yet, but
that’s a goal! We’re also doing a bit of baking at the moment – Malteaser tray
bake is the go-to at the minute, purely because it’s the first and only thing
we’ve tried so far! Hopefully there aren’t any kitchen dramas…”

there is one area that has tested the flat’s harmony in recent weeks.

“I don’t
want to talk about Cricket 19!” laughed McDowall.

“We’d just
watched The Test on Netflix – it’s a documentary about the Australian cricket
team, which is really good. We had a look through the PlayStation store and
Cricket 19 was on sale, so I bought it. Turns out George is a lot better at it
than me…

“I’ve told
him to stop putting the results on his Instagram now!”

The current
suspension of rugby union across Europe has also allowed McDowall time to
reflect on his – and the club’s – season so far. With the club in a playoff
position as it stands, the centre believes the team is coming good after a rollercoaster
start to the year.

“It’s been a
mixed season for me, I’d say,” admitted McDowall.

“I got
concussed in the pre-season match against Ulster at Scotstoun, which meant I
missed the season opener against the Cheetahs in South Africa. I managed to get
a run of games after that – obviously the results didn’t all go our way which
was disappointing, but it was still good to get some more game time under my

“We had some
good performances before the suspension, though – the win against Zebre at
Scotstoun was a really good team performance, and it was a game in which I was
happy with my own display too. We needed five points and were pretty ruthless.”

Yet McDowall
refuses to see himself as established within the Warriors squad, despite next
season marking his third campaign as a professional.

“I think
you’re always learning, really,” he said.

“If you
think you’ve cracked it then chances are you’re about to get things flipped
upside down on you.

“I’d like to
think of myself as still quite a young player, but I look at Jamie Dobie and
question how young I am these days!

“I just want
to get out and get some more game time, to be honest. I just want to keep
improving on and off the pitch, regardless of when we get back out there.”

Top 3… Netflix choices

Tiger King

Black Mirror

After Life

Spread the word

Newsletter Sign-up

Sign up to our newsletter today to receive the latest updates, content and releases from Glasgow Warriors.